Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,
It's Friday and it's another overcast morning here in Malibu.
... with afternoon burn-off of course. I hope your weekend is getting off to a good start. Even if you're at work, your mind is probably on things you want or have to do the next two days, eh? So in that sense, it's already started. Just like it ends somewhere on Sunday night when you start thinking about what you have waiting for you back the the workplace come Monday.
I'm considering going into a master's degree program and in order to be accepted, I have to make some repairs to my peculiar undergrad history (I was an art major, so I'm sans course credit of academic rigor that academic admittance committees like to see.) So it's back to night school for this old codger.
There's a nearby state college that let's un-admitted people like me take classes for credit to make such repairs, but you are a 2nd-class student who has to stand and wait at the gate while all the regulars snap up spots in night classes. Only on the first night of class are you allowed to go in and beg for a spot.
Unlike when I last took a college-credit course, everything is online now. If you monitor daily, you watch classes fill up at a rate and precision in real-time only known to college registrars in ages past. Back in the predigital age you'd have to physically visit a room at the college and look at papers posted on the wall at the number of seats available in a particular section. You'd fill out the "add card" (a machine-readable card scanned in somewhere in the data processing dept.) and hope it wasn't filled by the time you got to the front of a line that was 50 students long.
It's fun to watch the invisible hand of the market at work with daily check-ins of enrollment totals. When I first started this process there were five possible upper-division courses that would meet my requirements: Report Writing; Contemporary Poetry; Adolescent Lit; 19th Century British Lit; and 20th Century Satires of Consumerism.
The most slots that were available were Report Writing - 30. Within 2 weeks that class was fully enrolled (1st week of is 8/29). That course looks like the most perfunctory, utilitarian, and with probably the lightest outside reading load.
Next to close about a week ago was Contemporary Poetry. Pretty obvious there. Short works don't require hours of outside reading required compared to novels.
OK, you'd guess Adolescent lit would be next, right? Reading level and length of stuff like Twilight or Harry Potter and the like. But no, lots of slots persist. Commercialism Satires is rapidly closing - looks like a highly specialized senior seminar too. I was curious why. I looked up all the teachers and voila, bad professor reviews online for Adolescent and middlin' for British. LESSON TAKEAWAY? Online reputation and reviews counts for a lot people.
One thing all these profs have going for them is scarcity. There are no other choices for 3 units of upper-division English at night in Greater Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, so good prof or not, I am sure these will ALL fill up at $1K per pop. It may be a while before I can even start my delayed academic journey. The totally online MLIS program at San Jose State is better every passing day...
Oh well. I guess in the meantime I can just take my $1K to Las Vegas and turn it into $10K eh?
Have a wonderful weekend.